2007 AKA Convention: Day 4

Here, lets get this out of the way early this time. When I woke up this morning, the sun was streaming into the room and there was a definite nice breeze happening as well. Extend this to cover the entire day and you’d have an accurate idea of just how nice it was today in Ocean Shores, day five of the convention, day four of our daily updates.

This morning seems to have been the busiest ones with workshops running. All the rooms were filled up with people, taking in such workshops as Guatemala, put on by Jose Sainz and Scott Skinner and another workshop on making miniature kites with Charlie Sotich. Kay Buesing presented an hour on the World Kite Museum and there was a well attended “Intro to Fighter Kite Competition, The Basics” that was done by Brian Champie. And the busiest of all of them had to be the “Don’t Make Anything You Don’t Like”, held as a roundtable discussion with Scott Skinner, Jose Sainz, Ron Gibian, Cliff Quinn and Deb Lenzen.

The bag raffle room had filled out by quite a bit this morning, so we all took a stroll through there, feeding tickets into bags on a few choice items. And with the auction being held this evening, both the silent and LOUD auction, people were able to walk through everyone that was going to be up for sale later in the evening. The AKA was on a mission this evening, they wanted to raise $23,000 dollars for the next year’s budget and it certainly looked possible, given the great stuff that was up for sale. But, there was a sunny afternoon wasting away so after the quick tour through, it was time to hit the beach for a few events.

Many of us have seen multiple octopi up in the sky at various festivals, ranging from 1 up to the 12 that the Berkeley Kite Wranglers manage to loft up at the Berkeley Festival every year. The record for this kind of octopile had previously been 18, set at Berck Sur Mer this past spring, but, all week long various octopus owners had been hinting at trying to break this record and today seemed to be the best day to tackle this. There were quite a few in town for the event, and bit by bit during the day, the number in the sky slowly climbed until about 3:00PM this afternoon when the final count topped out at 20 octopi up in the sky at once. Now, if someone had run through with a fighter on manga line, you may have also broken the record for the biggest pile of calamari on sand but the event seemed to go off with no major hitches and wow, what a sight to see out on the beach!

Today marked the last day of sport kite competition. Despite the dire predictions for the weather throughout the week, no events ended up getting moved or rescheduled so we were left with the following events to get through : Experienced Multiline Precision, Masters Individual Ballet, Experienced Pairs Ballet and Precision, Masters Team Ballet and precision and Open Outdoor Unlimited. The entire day stayed at a pretty constant 4-8 mph of wind coming in off the ocean, though it was a little chilly despite the blazing sun up in the sky. With all of the events now concluded, all we are waiting for now is the revealing of the top 3 in each event which will take place tomorrow evening at the awards banquet… We’ll report finals not too long after the ceremonies are complete.

Alas, we did not manage to grab shots of score sheets from Masters Team Precision (two entries – Airzone and 6th Sense) or Open Individual Outdoor Unlimited (top three – Amy Doran, Jeff McCown and Jennifer Brown)… But, here are the other four categories from today:

As the octopus began to get pulled down and stuffed into their bags, people began heading back to hotel rooms in order to accomplish two things. First off, simply get cleaned up and dressed up a little, and secondly, to check their bank balances as this evening was the Great Kite Auction and Banquet. This is always an entertaining evening, with auctioneer duties handled by Dave Gomberg, who managed to finish a little ahead of last year’s schedule, and there definitely a lot of good stuff to be sold off… Among them, a large collection of miniature kites from nearly a dozen artists, not all of whom are pictured below.

Of particular note for sale this evening was a custom Revolution 1.5 Masterpiece series kite which contained sections designed by six of the artists involved in Revolution’s Masterpiece series of kites.

Contributing to this beautiful kite were Barry “Bazzer” Poulter, Ron Gibian, Jose Sainz, John Burkhardt, Scott Skinner and Randy Tom. Bidding through proxy (with John Barresi as his “stunt double/proxy/stand-in”), Kent Kingston from A Wind Of Change in Las Vegas managed to walk away with the kite for a cool $2550, which certainly helped the kite auction waltz right past their intended goal of $23,000 to a walloping $30,000 dollars raised this evening. That’s got to be a nice way to start the new year, with an additional $8,000 dollars in the budget!

Tomorrow, its all fun, there are some workshops scheduled and what will amount to a beach party for the rest of the day, along with more quad team flying, provided the weather stays predictable. The forecast calls again for rain, however, with a little luck, we’ll get the light amounts we have seen all weekend. My fingers are crossed…

Thanks again for reading,

David Hathaway